Artwork © Eric N. Peterson


A Bookstore in California
with Apologies to Allen

What thoughts I have of you this morning, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
as I duck onto secret urban paths, following a mauve brick road
toward the sushi trough.

Delirious from my thirst
trap of the senses, I wander
into the upscale cornucopia of plenty, not imagining

for any of it that I would see you
standing tall, imposing by the olive bar
that wry smile as you gazed upon my gaze

I thought I should say something to you Lawrence Ferlinghetti
but what does a neophyte say to a man of letters
who has no doubt, literally heard and seen it all?

Who also somehow manages to say it all
with a smile and a twinkle in the eye
that says

I know.
I understand.
It’s nice to meet you, traveler.

This day will go on endlessly.
Where do we go now Lawrence Ferlinghetti?
In my delirium I stumble into a red neon

bookstore of resistance
a sanctuary
of dissent:

such broadsided and tracts!
Whole communities
by night, aisles full of citizens

seekers, tweakers and tourists.
Which direction does your beard
slouch toward now

father of the extended
family of all extended families?
We wander in and out

of the brilliant stacks of our imaginations
our sense of the possible following you
as we are followed by your staffers.


Paul Corman-Roberts is the author of Bone Moon Palace, a full length collection of poems due in Summer 2021. He is the author of the poetry and prose collections We Shoot Typewriters, Notes From an Orgy and 19th Street Station. He works as a teacher, organizer and parent in California.

Eric N. Peterson is from Atlanta, Ga. He’s been drawing cartoons all his life. He leans towards the absurd, imaginative, and the surreal, as that’s where all the flavor is.